Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Llandrindod and district
Victorian school days
  Too hungry to go to school ?

There are many reminders in the diaries of Victorian schools of how poor many families were in those times.
These entries from the Log Book of Llanbister Cantal School in 1880 tell of two boys who often missed school lessons because they did not have enough to eat.

Victuals - an old word for food and drink.
27th August
School diary entry

In 1881, the same teacher wrote a list of the main reasons for children not being at school.
Magistrates who did not force parents to send their children to school regularly were top of the list. Next was bad weather.

Lack of money for children's shoes, clothes and food came third on his list !

To see old photographs of this school click here.
27th August - "John and Aaron Morris - the most backward boys in Standard I - have made only 9 attendances between them - the reason alleged being want of food".
The teacher mentions the "alleged" reason, suggesting that perhaps he didn't really believe their excuse for absence ! The next entry was written a few days later...
30th August
School diary entry

30th August - "The teacher proposed to the scholars, that those of them who had plenty of victuals at home should bring a little more than they required for their dinners, and give it to Martha, John, and Aaron Morris".
So the teacher was asking the other children to share their food with the Morris family. But on 10th September he wrote "The plan of giving John Morris's children each their dinner every day does no good in securing better attendance by them - especially the boys".
And they were still away much of the time by October 1880, so perhaps the teacher was right about their excuse of being too hungry to attend school !

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Hungry boy
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